"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Lk. 16:19-31).
Here are seven reasons why I do not believe the passage is a parable:
1. Jesus did not say it was a parable.
2. It would be the only parable in the Bible that describes things that are outside the realm of human experience. This passage is about what happens to two men after they both die.
3. It would be the only parable in God's Word which uses the proper name of a man.
4. It would be the only parable in Scripture which mentions two historical characters: Abraham and Moses.
5. It would be the only parable in the Bible which describes the place where the souls of the dead await the resurrection. Those in "Abraham's bosom" await being part of the First Resurrection, while those in the "place of torments" have the dread of being part of the Second Resurrection
6. It would be the only parable in God's Word that mentions angels within it. The only parables which have some connection to the activities of angels, do not mention angels in the parables themselves, but in the explanation of the parables (Mt. 13:24-30; 36-43; 47-49).
7. If sheol (Hebrew), or hades (Greek) is not a real place where the dead await their resurrection, then this would be the only place in the Scripture where Jesus taught error instead of truth! God forbid!
Today, born again believers go directly to heaven when they die (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23).